Migrant workers lead foreign capital inflow
At a glance
* Total number of out migrants estimated to be
* Remittances of migrant workers around $ 3
* First country report on International
Migration Outlook 2008 launched
Remittances of migrant workers are close to US $ 3 billion or seven
percent of the GDP or 36 percent of exports earnings and it is the
second largest foreign exchange earner to Sri Lanka.
It has become the leading source of foreign capital to Sri Lanka,
overtaking the official development assistance and foreign direct
investment Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Executive Director
Dr. Saman Kelegama said.
International labour migration is an important area in the Sri
Lanka’s socio-economic system.
Migration from Sri Lanka has grown in importance for the past several
decades and the numbers have increased over tenfold during the same
The total number of out migrants of Sri Lanka on employment abroad at
present is estimated to be 1.8 million while annually the outflow of
workers is estimated to be around 250,000 people, he said.
In 2007, 23 percent of the total employment generated and 21 percent
of the labour force in Sri Lanka was represented by foreign employment.
Sri Lanka has a huge mismatch between the international demand for
jobs and its supply capabilities.
The most pressing issue is the skill mismatch of what is demanded by
the foreign countries and what Sri Lankan workers could offer. The
Government has placed special emphasis on the promotion of high skilled
workers as against the low skilled categories of labour migrants, but
much work needs to be done, he said. The first country report on
International Migration Outlook Sri Lanka 2008 was launched on Friday.